Portland Muslims thankful for support
PORTLAND (Oregon): Muslims here thanked the community for its support and said they were raising money for the families of two men who were killed when they came to the defence of two young women — one wearing a hijab — who were targeted by an anti-Muslim rant.
“I am very thankful as a Muslim, I am very thankful as a Portlander... that we stand together here as one,” Muhammad A. Najieb, an imam at the Muslim Community Centre, said on Saturday.
The two young women “could have been the victims, but three heroes jumped in and supported them”, he said.
A fundraising page launched by his group for the families of the dead men, a surviving victim and the two young women had raised US$50,000 (RM220,000) in its first hours, Muhammad said.
Police said they would examine what appeared to be the extremist ideas of suspect Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, who is accused of killing the two men on Friday.
Christian’s social media postings indicate an affinity for Nazis and political violence. The attack occurred on a light-rail train on the first day of Ramadan.
Christian was being held on suspicion of aggravated murder, attempted murder, intimidation and being a felon in possession of a weapon. He was arrested a short time after the attack when he was confronted by other men.
One of the victims of the hate speech is sending her thanks to those who came to her defence, said KPTV.
Destinee Mangum, 16, told the station on Saturday that she and her 17-year-old friend were riding the train when Christian approached them, yelling what is described as hate speech.
She said her friend was Muslim, but she was not.
“He told us to go back to Saudi Arabia, and he told us we shouldn’t be here, to get out of his country,” Mangum said.
“He was just telling us that we weren’t anything and that we